Saturday, August 2, 2014

Final Credit

There are two obvious similarities between "Long Live Walter Jameson" and "Queen of the Nile"-- old women are catalyst characters and the episodes end with the central characters as dust within suit clothes on the floor. Queen was Charles Beaumont's final Twilight Zone credit but his friend Jerry Sohl actually wrote the teleplay. 

Sohl had owned a scarab ring, a symbol of immortality, which inspired the idea. The two worked out the story details in a half hour and Sohl went home to write the teleplay. It kind of shows. The plot of Queen is not as intricately woven as Walter Jameson. The two main characters are shallow and uncompelling. The old woman, who is the the Queen's mother (daughter?), steals the show.
But I think Sohl wrote Queen as almost a tribute to, rather than a rehash of, Walter Jameson. Beaumont suffered from a "mysterious brain ailment" in which he began to age rapidly, his speech slowed, and he lost his ability to concentrate. Eerily, his son said when he died at age 38, Charles Beaumont looked to be about 95 years old. 

Queen of the Nile
Episode 143, original air date: 3-6-1964 

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